BMW has just confirmed that production of the electric version of the X3 crossover will start in 2020, at a plant in China where it will be built for global export.
The German automaker showed off the concept version of the iX3 this past April at the Beijing auto show. The crossover uses the fifth generation of BMW's electric powertrain technology. BMW said that it would have an electric motor that could deliver more than 270 hp. The battery storage capacity of 70 kWh is enough to give it a range of more than 400 km, the automaker said. BMW's new electric motor is also built to not require rare earth metals.
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The crossover also launches a new styling change for the brand, taking the signature twin-kidney grilles and combining them into a single opening. Most of the rest of the styling is the same as the X3 it is based on.
BMW calls the iX3 the first all-electric core model for the brand. It will be built by BMW joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive at the company's plant in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. As part of the move, BBA is expanding capacity at the plant to 520,000 BMW vehicles in 2019. Batteries will be produced by a local BBA engine facility. China is the single largest market for BMW.
The iX3 will be the first BMW vehicle to be exported from China for sale in global markets expected to include Canada.